Weight Loss: Diet vs. Exercise

WHAT IT IS

  • Losing weight results from burning more calories than you consume. There is debate swirling around what is most effective for losing weight: diet or exercise?
  • Body Mass Index (BMI) uses weight and height to assess body fat. One is obese when their body weight is 20% higher than it should be.
  • Obesity can result from bad food habits, lack of exercise, genetics, stress and more.

WHY IT MATTERS

At least 20% of residents in each U.S. state are obese, affecting one in five children aged 6-19. Obesity leads to heart problems, diabetes, and other medical issues, and causes over 18% of American adult deaths. So, what is most effective for combating this epidemic?

  • THE RUNNERS: “Exercise counts”

    • What you put out: Exercise has more overall health benefits and helps in gaining muscle over just losing fat.
    • Keep burning: Your body can often continue to burn calories after a workout.
    • Self-discipline: Exercise must be self-motivated, making each person responsible for their own healthy lifestyle.
  • THE EATERS: “All about diet”

    • What you take in: Cutting bad food and eating healthy are more effective for losing and maintaining weight loss.
    • All in the numbers: Studies show effective weight loss is about 75% diet and 25% exercise.
    • Family matters: Obese children need adult help in losing weight. Changing the food you give a child is easier than trying to get them to exercise.

WHERE WE ARE NOW

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT

  • How does social media play a role in weight stigma?
  • Is obesity a pre-existing condition in some cases, such as genetic inheritance, but not others?
  • Do we blame those who are obese for becoming obese?